NEW car registrations may have been down 2.4% on 2018, but sidestepping the automotive retail woes has been the Fleet Alliance Group.
The group reports a record year in 2019, and Martin Brown, MD of the Fleet Alliance Group, says he is quietly confident about 2020 prospects.
Brown says its 2019 success can be attributed to its intensive and dedicated work with key partners, with one major leasing company partner contributing significantly to the growth. Profits were up more than 20% he added.
The group’s brands – Fleet Alliance, Intelligent Car Leasing, Intelligent Van Leasing and Neva Consultants – now comprises a fleet valued at £1billion with a managed fleet increasing from 25,000 vehicles to 37,000 during 2019.
Martin Brown said that 2020 should be positive for the fleet industry with welcome clarity on benefit-in-kind company car tax.
“The Government announcement on company car tax last year was hugely significant for us and our sector and replaced the lack of clarity we’d seen in the previous two years.
“Providing we get confirmation from the Chancellor in the Budget in March, we now have certainty on BIK rates, which allows fleets to forward plan again. The zero BIK rate for EVs should be a shot in the arm for electric vehicle sales, while hybrid vehicles, with the appropriate range, will be tax-busters, too.
“At the same time, the new generation of cleaner RDE2-compliant diesels will not attract the usual 4% diesel surcharge, which underpins our belief that diesel still has a key role to play in the short-to-medium future of fleet mobility.”
Increase in PHEV and EV leasing
Brown said he was expecting a groundswell of customers to favour EV and hybrid leasing.
“Here at Fleet Alliance, we are living proof of that. Our commercial director has an EV, our sales director drives a PHEV, our FD has an EV and our head of marketing has taken a Tesla Model 3. That’s as a direct result of the new BIK structure.
“However, there is currently an imbalance between supply and demand which should ease as the vehicle manufacturers bring forward new ULEV and EV models.
“There is also an imbalance between the cost benefit to the driver through lower taxes, and higher costs to the company through higher rentals. But we expect that gap to also close over time as supply increases and prices come down.
The record growth has seen the group take an additional 3,324 sq ft of office space at its Skypark base in Glasgow. It will be used to house the group’s growing team of technical and customer service staff, as it looks to continue its impressive growth path and recruit new staff.
“The additional business space at Skypark allows us to accommodate our 2019 growth, and allows us to expand still further in line with our plans for 2020.”
Ralph Morton is the leading journalist in the leasing broker sector and editor of Broker News, the website which provides information and news for BVRLA-registered leasing brokers. He also writes extensively on the fleet and leasing market in both the UK and Europe.